As we begin COETAIL 13 - Course 2, we kick off with a week of respecting the remix. In other words, understanding that we're all inspired by others and that copying is a true and well a good thing, as long as we make it our own and give credit where we were inspired from.
This aligns nicely with the ISTE for Educators Citizen standard indicator 3c.
Kirby Ferguson's, "Everything is a Remix Remastered", was by far the most entertaining and well-crafted resource of the week. I loved his cinema style, humour (the "I'm sorry about Colonialism" genre), detail to a variety of media, and his use of persuasive repetition in threes to get his message across...
Copy. Transform. Create.
Ferguson's message reminded me of one of my favourite John Spencer videos about, "Why Consuming is Necessary for Creating", where Spencer elucidates a similar persuasive three combo - Critical consumption of media (i.e. knowledge gathering; "geeking out"); finding one's Inspiration; followed by the Creative work.
The Wisdom of Mitch Resnick
I've plugged the book before, and it won't be the last time. Every educator must read, "Lifelong Kindergarten" by Mitch Resnick. A beautiful quote within the book's, "Top ten tips for learners" section is number 6 - "It's okay to copy stuff (to give you an idea)." Resnick posits that copying is a two-way street, "You should feel free to build on the work of others, but you should be open to others building on your work, too."
Resnick is also the creator of Scratch, a widely popular and free computational thinking application in which children can make their own games and more, either from "Scratch" or by remixing the work of others. The platform makes "remixing" and giving credit to the original author super simple, too!
Resnick lives and breathes all the wisdom that Seymour Papert passed on to him. Resnick has said that all of his major projects have been inspired by the work of Papert (If you click no other link, I implore you to take 5 minutes to watch this one). Papert himself "remixed" Piaget's ideas and wisdom to create his own theory of learning - Constructionism.
Some Reflective Questions
How can you inform your students and peers about the importance of respecting the intellectual property of others?
Simple - model it in action and talk about why. Here's a video I made for my ISTE Certification on the subject, which I use with my kids at the start of the year.
Also, I know my audience. Every photo I use is either from PhotosForClass or another attribution-friendly source.
Do you see this as an issue in your school?
It would be very naïve of me to say that it wasn't, although I'd say most members of my team, and a select few of my other colleagues do feel passionate about this.
How do we teach copyright in countries where international copyright law is not clearly defined or followed?
Again - - modelling, advocacy, informing and educating. Just because people do it, doesn't make it right. You could kick off the discussion with a nice story like Ellen Javernick's, "What if everyone did that?".
What is our obligation as educators?
If we don't teach it -- who will?!!!
What are your thoughts?